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Wheeler Kearns Architects completes Howard Brown Health’s Broadway Youth Center in Chicago

Healthcare Facilities

Wheeler Kearns Architects completes Howard Brown Health’s Broadway Youth Center in Chicago

The new facility will provide medical and social service programs to LGBTQI+ youth.

By David Malone, Managing Editor | December 7, 2021
Interior upper floors of BYC
Photos: Kendall McCaugherty, Hall + Merrick Photographers

The new five-story Broadway Youth Center (BYC), designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects, is now open at 1023 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The new facility greatly increases the scope and size of the non-profit’s comprehensive social and healthcare services for Chicago’s LGBTQI+ youth.

Sited on a narrow lot at a vibrant intersection with an El station immediately behind it, the building serves as a welcoming, inclusive beacon for the community. The 20,000-sf facility quadruples the physical footprint of the organization and arranges the programs vertically, including a health clinic, a pharmacy, a cafe, day-time community spaces, and private spaces for counseling, career, and social services.

BYC interior

Staff at a reception desk greet clients upon entry in the context of a cafe, where they can sit while they wait for services. Several Chicago LGBTQ artists and allies will soon install new murals that represent the community’s creative, youthful, and energetic spirit in this space, as well.

The building’s street facade is a quilt composed of masonry panels in varying hues and textures that wrap around the building. Punched windows at the lower floors allow each clinic space and office to receive natural light. Large expanses of windows allow for panoramic views from gathering rooms and drop-in spaces on the upper floors. At the rear of the building a video installation projects video artwork reflecting BYC’s mission onto upper-story double height windows at night.

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